VOM-USA Prayer Update for May 18, 2012
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
Egypt—Judge Upholds Christian’s Prison Sentence
Source: VOM Contacts
A judge in Upper Egypt has upheld the six-year sentence of a Christian man convicted of blasphemy against Islam. The charges resulted from an argument between 49-year-old Makarem Diab and a co-worker about differences between Jesus and Muhammad. Diab was sentenced on Feb. 29 in a 10-minute hearing during which he had no defense attorney. At his first appeals hearing on March 16, Diab’s co-worker instigated a riot by Muslim attorneys outside the courthouse. The angry lawyers interrupted Diab’s hearing, assaulted his attorneys and blocked access to the courtroom. Diab’s lawyer, who said the judge upheld the sentence out of fear, is attempting to appeal the sentence again. Diab is being held in Assuit General Prison. Pray that Diab will get a fair hearing and that he will remain strong during his imprisonment.
Somalia—Christians Under Continual Threat
Source: Compass Direct News
Christians in Somalia continue to suffer from seemingly random attacks by Muslim extremists. Last week, two unidentified gunmen killed 27-year-old Aaban Anwar just a few blocks from his house in the Shabelle region. Although no one knows why Anwar was murdered, local Christians told VOM contacts that they believe the attack is related to Anwar’s newfound Christian faith. His Muslim family, who were unaware of his Christian faith, buried him a few days later. In the nearby city of Jawhar, which is controlled by the Islamist sect al-Shabab, a 25-year-old Christian woman was kidnapped recently and has not been heard from since. Pray that God will give strength and patience to Christians living in this region.
Israel—Church Seeks Permanent Location
Source: VOM Contacts
Members of Holy Land Missions in Jerusalem are praying for a miracle. Pastor Steven Khoury recently received a 30-day eviction notice on the property the church has leased for the past few years. “The pressure from the Muslim community is so strong that the landlord is given no other choice but to do this,” said Khoury, who knew the church’s time was limited at its current location. “With just 30 days left to move a church community, another Band-Aid solution of renting a place is not a viable solution. Our church community needs permanent roots.” Pray for Holy Land Missions as they seek a permanent place to build their church.
Pray for a widow in the Philippines who lost her husband in July 2011. Last year VOM helped her start a small business to support her two young children.
-posted by Tim A. Blankenship